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About wandelaar

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    Dao Bum
  1. What are you listening to?

    Always nice to hear some jazz, whether it is Sunday or not.
  2. Correct - this is all somewhat speculative. But of one thing I am fairly certain and that is that technology evolves much faster than our physical constitution. There is a misfit here, and Lao tzu and Chuang tzu were already aware of it.
  3. I refer to a time when we were somewhere in between animals and man, and when there was not yet such a thing as human society or language. We only need to learn about Tao because we live in a world where our natural instincts no longer suffice to tell us what to do. Lao tzu and Chuang tzu promoted the simple life because then we have to learn and train less and we can live more according to our natural instincts. It looks to me that he had great fun writing stories and discussing with (or making fun of) the fellow philosophers of his time. What more reason do you need to get out of bed and go on living? Yes - my mindset has changed over time. I have had to tone down my expectations of life from wanting to become the next Einstein to being a complete nobody. But that's a very long story, and not very interesting.
  4. Well OK. That's only needed because we no longer live like animals. Our natural instincts no longer suffice to keep our cool in modern society. According to my understanding there indeed is no point in waking up in the morning, and there doesn't even need to be a point to it. As long as one feels the drive to keep on living one doesn't need a point to wake up in the morning, and when the drive is gone no point to keep on living will make one go on for long. Maybe the Tao of no Tao is best, but I am too dogmatic for that. So yes I made a choice.
  5. Well I had some Jehovah Witnesses at my door some days ago, and they asked me where to find the answer to the meaning of life and I spontaneously answered "nowhere". They laughed politely and I politely received their flyer, and subsequently they wend to the next door. Later I thought somewhat more about it and realised that plants and animals just live their life apparently without any need for answers to philosophical or spiritual quandaries. In a sense the question of the meaning of life is an artifact of our thinking mind. The drive to live and to live well is hard-wired, and this drive doesn't need priests and/or scriptures to explain to us what to do.
  6. Although it is often hard to see there is some use to the comments of Stosh and that is that they train you to avoid participating in egocentric non-discussions.
  7. Being content with being dead is only possible for entities that somehow still exist, so this story seems to leave open the possibility that death isn't the end...
  8. That followed after Chuang tzu realised that life and death are both part of nature and necessarily so. This latter realisation freed up his mind to see that even after her death everything is as it should be after all. But first he was for a brief moment overcome with emotion because of her death. It would be inhuman to evolve to such a state of detachment that even the death of your wife would be felt as irrelevant. I don't say such a state of detachment would be impossible, but it would go against human nature. That certainly isn't the form of Taoism that I appreciate.
  9. It's looks like Chuang tzu isn't quite sure about what happens to the dead, see also: https://www.consolatio.com/2005/05/chuang_tzu_and_.html
  10. @ Rara https://www.consolatio.com/2005/04/zhuangzi_loses_.html
  11. The Chuang Tzu

    Lots of times Chuang tzu doesn't take a definitive position himself, and in these cases this refusal to take a stand paradoxically appears to be his position. At other times I suspect that he is just joking and making fun of his more serious readers.
  12. The Chuang Tzu

    When you like the Chuang tzu you will probably want to have several translations anyhow. And I recommend reading some modern philosophical commentaries too. The latter will seem boring and pedantic compared to the lively style of Chuang tzu but over time they will help to see through the many levels and shades of meaning of the Chuang tzu.
  13. I think that Taoism is indeed more of a middle way, and not striving for complete detachment. After all Chang tzu did care when his wife died, although not for very long (because he could soon see it from the perspective of Tao).
  14. It all depends on the lineage or form of Taoism that you follow. In philosophical Taoism it's all about understanding with some (sitting or moving) meditation added, not about immortality, chi, gods, rituals, etc. But other Taoists often consider philosophical Taoism as not the real thing. It's hard to find the openness of mind to appreciate how everyone is on his/her own way to who knows where...
  15. The Chuang Tzu

    Let us know what you think/feel about it while reading. It's a pity that discussions about the Chuang tzu seem to have died out along with the dead of Marblehead.